A few months ago, Hack Library School posted about e-portfolios and their benefits. Ever since, I’ve been working on creating my very own e-portfolio and thought that I would share some of the things that I’ve learned. I’m working on a 4 part series that describes the different things I’ve been thinking about while designing and creating my e-portfolio including content, design, publishing, and mobile.
You have a lot of options when creating an e-portfolio or personal web site. You can create your own (like I did!) and host it yourself, or you can use a variety of different services that’ll make it a lot easier.
There are a lot of services out there that will be good for an e-portfolio or personal Web site. These services can be broken up into several different categories of services: landing pages, portfolio services, and Content Management Systems (CMS).
Landing pages are great because you can compile all of your online profiles in one place without having to do much work. These pages are also customization so you can decide what you want them to look like–but also allow you have to a pretty professional page that shows up when a potential employer searches your name.
- About.me is a service that allows you to display your online profiles/services on one page. Your page will show images for each service you use and open the content for your viewers. I like this service because it will show you a variety of information from each service. For example, Google+ will show your posts and your profile. You just need to make sure your information isn’t marked as private!
- Flavors.me is a similar service that compiles all of your online profiles and services in one place. Instead of having one page, flavors.me creates separate pages for each service. It makes it a little more disjointed than about.me, in my opinion, but also allows you to create an even more customized site! This service does require $$ for premium services and customization–including adding extra services to your page.
- Wix is a service that I have not personally used. It creates a flash based Web site that you can use to show off your work. Personally, I think this service is better used by someone who does graphic or design work. But I would love to be proven wrong and see some examples!
A Content Management System allows you to host content and create some pretty stellar Web sites–if you do it right!
- WordPress.org is slightly different from WordPress.com. Both the .com and the .org services are the same company, but .org offers more powerful tools and is a downloadable tool to create a blog or Web site. Both services are free–but if you use the the .org version, you will need to purchase Web hosting services. Using the .com version to create a Web site is possible and easy–and free!
- Drupal is another CMS tool you can use to create a Web site. Like WordPress, it’s open source and free. Since Drupal is open sourced, there is an entire community of people who work to collaborate to make Drupal usable by all sorts of people. You can download “modules” that can offer more tools for your Web site. Like the wordpress.org tool, you’ll need to purchase Web hosting services to get your site on the Internet.
Personally, I wanted more control over my Web site than any of these services offered. Therefore, I decided to create my own web site using my pretty intermediate web design skills. I knew that I wanted to show people that I had these skills and also show off other projects and products I’ve worked on. I also wanted people to get an idea of who I am and my professional interests.
So I made my web site and registered a domain name (registering a domain name [like, yourname.com or yourname.net or yourname.info] is always a good idea). I have free Web hosting from my school and just direct my domain name to that space.
For those of you who don’t have space on a school’s server, I would recommend you use Google’s services to register a domain name and create a site. Creating the site will be free, but registering a domain name through them will be $10 (which is cheaper than many of the other options!) I will be migrating all of my stuff over there next year after I lose this web space.
Note: Don’t be afraid to use all of/several of/any of these services. I’ve been asked in the past which one I would suggest over the others… But, to be honest, if the service is free there’s no reason to not use it. At the very least you can nail down your username across multiple services.
Has anyone tried using anything else? Does anyone else use these services and want to share their experience or how they put it all together?